Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Recipe: Cheesy Volcano Meatballs

In addition to searching out new recipes, I've been playing with some old recipes that our family used to enjoy, back before this whole gluten-free, corn-free thing rocked our worlds.  Sadly, I'm finding that most cannot be resurrected.  But one that I have had success with is our Cheesy Volcano Meatballs.

The original recipe called for crushed-up Ritz crackers.  Obviously those are off-limits to me now.  But this past week I experimented with the recipe, substituting a tablespoon of flax seeds instead, and it turned out just fine.  Ben said he couldn't even tell it had flax seeds in it, so next time I'll try two tablespoons instead to stretch the recipe just a little bit further.

The original recipe calls for the meatballs to be served on hot dog buns, kind of like a meatball sandwich.  That's still totally fine for Ben and the kids to do, but I can eat them plain or with marinara sauce.  This time around, the kids gobbled them bunless as well, kind of like sliders.  This was one recipe that was actually a hit with the entire family--hallelujah!!

I cooked the meatballs in our muffin tin--they fit beautifully in there.  The only downside was that they came out a little greasy and there wasn't a great way to cook a second batch... and as much as our kids liked these, there was definitely a need to cook a second batch.  I'm thinking that adding the second tablespoon of flax seeds will cut down a bit on the grease.  So I may need to double the recipe next time; they would definitely reheat well.

Not sure where we got this recipe in the first place; I typed it up years ago.

Here's our family's version.  If you'd like to go with the non-GF version, it's 6 crushed-up Ritz crackers instead of flax seeds.

1 lb lean ground beef
1-2 tablespoons flax seeds
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup spaghetti sauce, divided
12 cheddar cheese cubes
4 hot dog buns, split

Preheat oven to 400ºF. 
Mix meat, cracker crumbs, parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce in bowl. 
Shape into 12 meatballs, using about 2 Tbsp meat mixture for each.
Place meatballs about 2 inches apart in shallow baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
 Press 1 cheese cube deeply into center of each meatball.
Bake 14 min. or until meatballs are cooked through (160ºF).  

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